Zag Women Coast Past Waves in WCC Opener - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Zag Women Coast Past Waves in WCC Opener

Jill Barta was a point shy of her career-high with 16 points in the win at Pepperdine. Jill Barta was a point shy of her career-high with 16 points in the win at Pepperdine.

by Gonzaga Athletics

MALIBU, Calif. -- The Gonzaga women's basketball team opened their West Coast Conference schedule with a 74-57 victory at Pepperdine Monday.

The Zags (9-4, 1-0 West Coast Conference) won their third straight game, and have now won 12 of their last 13 conference season-opening contests. GU was one assist shy of matching its season-high. The Bulldogs dished out 19 assists on their 27 made field goals.

Shelby Cheslek blocked two shots in the victory and matched the Gonzaga program record for blocks in a career. She equaled Kayla Standish's 176 career blocks.

Gonzaga shot 43.5 percent from the field, including 9-of-27 from behind-the-arc. The Zags made five of their first 10 three-point attempts during the first quarter.

Erica Ogwumike made the first three baskets of the game and gave the Waves a quick 6-0 advantage. GU answered with a 19-2 run. The Bulldogs held Pepperdine to 2-of-11 shooting over the final eight minutes of the opening quarter and led 21-10 after the first 10 minutes.

Trailing 26-10 just into the second quarter, the Waves stormed back. Pepperdine held the Zags to just two points over the final 6:48 of the second period and trailed by only two points at the halftime break, 28-26.

The Bulldogs broke the game open over the first four minutes of the third quarter. They scored 11 of the first 14 points in the second half and led 53-39 at the end of the third quarter. Gonzaga took its largest lead of the game, 74-50, with 1:35 left in regulation.

The Zags' Jill Barta was a point shy of her career-high with 16 points. The freshman made five of her nine shots from the field, including 2-of-3 from behind-the-perimeter. She also made all four of her free-throws. Zhané Templeton hit all five of her free-throw attempts and finished with 13 points.

Cheslek grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Kiara Kudron pulled down eight rebounds and scored eight points. Laura Stockton added nine points and dished out a game-high seven assists. Pepperdine had eight as a team.

Gonzaga had a 42-31 rebound advantage and a 30-22 edge in points in the paint. The Bulldogs matched their season-low with 12 turnovers. Pepperdine also had 12 turnovers.

The Waves (4-8, 0-1 WCC) were led by Ogwumike's 15 points. She finished 5-of-15 from the field. Keitra Wallace contributed 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

The Bulldogs remain in Los Angeles for their next game at Loyola Marymount Wednesday. The Lions (5-7, 1-0) opened their WCC slate with a 62-52 win over Portland Monday. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday. 

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